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Old 06-12-2012, 11:58 AM
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Default Thumb Brauised from Too Much Casting!

I fished for 6 1/2 hours yesterday, and woke up to a bruised thumb this morning. It's actually the palm of my hand, at the base of my thumb. Caught some nice smallmouth, but must have made a thousand casts.

Ever have that happen to you? Looks like I'll be fishing my little 4wt for a while.
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:25 PM
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Default Re: Thumb Brauised from Too Much Casting!

It is from OVERLINING your Z-, Frank! Just kidding, I know it can handle it and makes sense for tossing streamers not too far as the 6 will load her up faster. I like the 5 Gold because I am using that rod stictly as a sight fishing with surface floating fly rod.

I get sore on my palm at the base of my middle and ring fingers from loosening then squeezing the grip during casting. By mid season I'll have a rock hard callus there.
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:42 PM
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Default Re: Thumb Brauised from Too Much Casting!

Well, you might not be too far off the mark with over-lining. I was casting to carp at one point, and had to cast from quite a distance. Carp snap 2X tippet with ease BTW.....

After that adventure, I ran into a guy that spin fishes that stream. He told me before that he wanted to start using his father's Orvis bamboo rods, but needed a lesson. I showed him the mechanics of casting, and spent about 1/2an hour with him. He asked me how far I could cast, and I told him I could easily hit the opposite bank. That took the entire line, and now it was REALLY overlined. He liked that, so I kept doing it. I had a little caddis pupa tied on, and was catching sunfish and a couple small smallmouth, so I showed off for a while. That made my hand hurt right then, and I though, "What would Sweet & Salt say about this?", and "WHY DO I DO STUPID TRICKS?" Time to re-think over-lining and casting distance.

The carp were in a section with deep channels, with rock ledges that rose up to just inches from the surface. My Clousers snagged many times, and I used an overly aggressive roll cast to try to un-snag them. While it worked half the time, I felt the pain growing with each roll cast (lots of grip squeezing). I'm a fit muscular guy, but I guess the casting motions add up. I've been fishing a LOT lately, and not for dinky fish. Oh well, it's a small price to pay for all this fun.
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:54 PM
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Default Re: Thumb Brauised from Too Much Casting!

Hi Frank,

I don't do too much prospecting by way of casting and since I stopped that exercise long ago I suffer very little from hand or wrist fatigue. The last time I had actual pain that was related to fishing was fall of 2005. I was still using my old Far & Fine 5 weight for silvers and had one heck of a good September. My fishing buddy and I used to daydream about catching big fish until our arms were sore and honestly I never thought it would happen. What I learned was that I could land a bunch of large feisty fish every day using my trusty old Orvis rod but without a fighting butt to help leverage the fish I was developing a sort of bursitis in my right elbow. I took a day off and switched to a 9X9 rod with a butt and the problem was over.

The only solution I can think to offer for your condition would be to try to target casts to only those areas that you would expect to give up a bass for you. A day of 1000 casts would make anyone's hand sore I believe. I'm going to go fishing soon and when I get back on the forum I'll let you know if my cast when I find fish strategy worked today.

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Old 06-12-2012, 01:12 PM
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Default Re: Thumb Brauised from Too Much Casting!

I know many people say they do not care for the smaller diameter grips Winston used on the BIIx series but before they came out I had almost the same hand problems as sweetandsalt after a good season of casting. The callous I got was at the base of my ring finger and the pain was in the palm.
Even though I'm 6'3" with large hands, once I went to the smaller grips I had no more pain, cramping or callouses.
When I got a bit of salt water fishing in or started throwing heavy artillary at largemouth's, the issues came back. My heavier rods all have large diameter grips.
I'm pretty much convinced that grip shape and size makes a big difference in not only how a rod feels in use but also in how your hand and muscles respond when using them.

Just wondering here... how do you position your hand on the rod?
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:34 PM
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Default Re: Thumb Brauised from Too Much Casting!

Ard,
It's a stream where EVERY spot looks like a likely spot. The carp are easy to spot, but getting them to take is another story. Casting until they're annoyed seems to work. This is the headwaters of the tidal section of the stream (which runs another 40 miles non-tidal), and you can catch channel cats, striped bass(!!!), shad, carp, smallmouth, walleye, perch, red-breasted sunfish (FIGHT LIKE MAD), and many smallmouth in the same little stretch. I fished a stretch about .7 miles long yesterday, and worked it a couple times. Caught a couple of small stripers, lots of red-breasted sunfish (on a Clouser!),
smallmouth, and perch. I hooked a few carp, but couldn't land them. These are just plain old big carp, and it's like grabbing the reins of a rabid horse.

Here's the part of the stream section I fish. It just repeats that pattern for another mile, and then opens up to small river status. The water was high in this picture, and is MUCH lower right now.
Click the image to open in full size.

The deal is, it's tidal; the fish move around quite a bit depending on the water level. The tide change is 6 feet further downstream, and around two feet where I fish. Rises are rare when the tide is in, but common when it's out. The larger fish lurk in the streams many deep (5-8 feet) channels, and behind the many large boulders strewn across the bottom. That's where the casting comes into play. These fish aren't moving from their comfort zone, and you have to cast to each underwater boulder, and there are zillions of microwave size boulders scattered across the bottom. They all look likely. I've caught fish at the top of riffles, middle, and bottom. I've seen really nice smallmouth 1 foot from the bank in inches of water, and looked over to the other side to see them at the bottom of a gin clear channel.

One mile downstream of the first picture:
Click the image to open in full size.
This section sees a tide change of nearly 6 feet. While it's impossible to tell from a photo, the center of the stream is much more shallow than the edges here. Wading upstream during low tide is possible if you wade in the center, and fishing the pools on the edge can produce a number of really nice fish. If you know where the pools are, you can fish them without spooking the fish. The tide comes in quickly, however, and timing can save a swim. There are several shallow spots along the bank during low tide, but more often it's too deep even then. I almost found myself caught a few times in the past 5 years, but running upstream and climbing some tricky banks can save the day. The houses on the right look inviting, but water is always deep on that side. I do own a canoe, but have never used it there.....?????

After the third carp broke me off yesterday, I decided to call it quits. My knotted leader was down to about 7 feet, and I tied on a foam beetle. There's no point walking back upstream without a fly on the line, even if I'm too tired to cast. I caught a few little sunfish as I made my way back up to where I cross the stream, and stopped near a few Buick size boulders for a pool next to stretch of riffles. It occured to me, that if I were a smallmouth, I'd be resting in the corner of this nearly square pool. Having seen baitfish being chased against the rocks the day before helped form that opinion, and I made one last cast. I was rewarded with this guy:
Click the image to open in full size.

Casting mechanics were brought up when I was showing the spin fisherman how to make a basic cast, and I told him to let the rod do the work. He kept raising his rod arm to straighten his elbow, and I told him to pretend he was holding a book against his body (you guys know the routine). Because of my shoulder, I try to let the rod do as much work as possible. The roll cast to un-snag the Clousers made my elbow pain flare up, and undoubtedly played a role in the hand pain. I was using a 9 foot rod, and I'm much more comfortable with 8 1/2' rods. The problem is, my shorter rods don't throw heavy streamers into the wind, and at distances like the longer rod. It can be done, but I wanted all the firepower possible: this stream has been red hot for two months!

Jackster,
I prefer smaller grips, and actually slide my hand up to the winding check at one point for relief. While the Z-Axis grip is not large, it's larger than the ZXL. The latter is perfect for my large hands, and I spent last summer casting Clousers with an 8 1/2' 4wt ZXL. I switched back to the Z-Axis this year because I couldn't turn the 16-18 inch smallmouth in currents, and kept thinking of A.K. Best's comments about "rod abuse". While my wife caught two large channel catfish with that rod last year, it would have been worthless against the carp I've been targeting.

Prospecting for Fish:
I don't think anything has helped my fishing more than Tom Rosenbauer's book Prospecting for Trout. It's a great book to read for any freshwater species, at least the species I fish for. Ard has mentioned observing a stream before approaching several times, and this has netted me many fish that I would have stepped on in the past. Seeing a few 16 inch smallmouth slowly swim away as you enter a stream should make anyone look prefer leaping. I have to admit that I spooked many smallmouth on my way to the carp yesterday, but I wasn't after smallmouth at the moment.

Last edited by FrankB2; 06-12-2012 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:41 PM
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Default Re: Thumb Brauised from Too Much Casting!

Yep, the exact same thing happens to me on long fishing sessions. Just means we oughta fish more often right? I'm getting a doctors note.
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:48 PM
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Default Re: Thumb Brauised from Too Much Casting!

I'm in good company in that case, Noiso.

Here's a pic of a carp my friend Pedro Castillo caught a month ago:
Click the image to open in full size.

Paco is a jockey, but I measured that carp at 30". He caught it about 10 feet from where that smallmouth in the post above was caught. This stream is a buffet of big fish! My wife and I moved here to be near that section of the Neshaminy, and for NO other reason. There's not a whole lot more happening around here, but that part of the stream sees little fishing. That's fine by us!
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:23 AM
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Default Re: Thumb Brauised from Too Much Casting!

Got the same sore palm below the thumb a couple of months ago as did my son. We were casting non stop for 7 1/2 hours in Florida using Clouser Minnows. I realized that the high end loop casts we were doing to control the flight of the Clousers made both of us compensate our natural grip when casting causing the sore palms. We had days on that trip where we probably made more casts but not with weighted flys. In my opinion the squeezing and duration of using them caused our soreness. But when your catching a lot of fish you tend to ignore the discomfort.
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